A day before his highly-anticipated showdown with Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final, Novak Djokovic took a “conservative” ride at a bike park – as he described it – and hit the beach with his coach Marian Vajda.
Already a joint-record holder for most Australian Open men’s singles titles won, alongside Roy Emerson and Roger Federer, Djokovic is bidding to become the first man to claim the trophy seven times when he takes on Nadal on Sunday.
“Look, there's so much at stake. Obviously making history of the sport that I love is an honour and is a privilege. It's a huge motivation. At the same time Nadal is across the net. We're playing finals of Grand Slam for the record seventh title here. If you don't get motivated by all these things, then something is wrong,” Djokovic told reporters after his semifinal win over Lucas Pouille on Friday.
The Australian Open has been a cornerstone for Djokovic’s career, and it’s where he has enjoyed the most success. So it’s no surprise he is able to enjoy everything that Melbourne has to offer just a day before his 53rd clash with his archrival Nadal.
Melbourne Park is where Djokovic contested his first-ever Grand Slam main draw, back in 2005, where he managed to win just three games against eventual champion Marat Safin.
It’s also where he lifted his first of 14 Grand Slam trophies, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008, at the age of 20. That major breakthrough came just four months after he had lost his maiden Slam final to Roger Federer in New York. He exacted his revenge by overcoming the Swiss in the semifinals en route to his first Australian Open crown.